American Library Association
There are more than 122,000 libraries in the United States, of which about 16,000 are public libraries. The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, serving librarians from every type of library in the U.S. However, the ALA is more than a professional organization. It sees itself as being the chief advocate for the American people in a quest for the highest possible quality of library and information services.
Cataloguing Talk and General Discussion
It's not a job that most people envy -- cataloguing and keeping track of all those books. It takes someone with patience, perseverance and a good sense of organization. Those are the kind of people who hang out in this Usenet group. Check out the raging debates over the modality and paradigms of cataloguing. The mailing list is for the discussion of automated methods of cataloguing.
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Dewey Decimal System
The Dewey Decimal system for the classification of nonfiction library material was developed in 1876 by an American librarian named Melvil Dewey. Dewey created the classification scheme based on his understanding of human knowledge in Europe and the United States. Although the Dewey Decimal System has undergone modifications, the main design has proved remarkably enduring for well over one hundred years, and is used widely throughout North America and Europe. The name "Decimal System" comes from the idea that all knowledge is divided into ten major categories, numbered 000 through 900. Within a category, sub-categories are assigned a specific three-digit number. More detailed specification is expressed by extra numbers following a decimal point. For example, the social sciences all lie within the 300 division: economics is 330, labor economics is 331, and career information is 331.702.
Internet Public Library
There are lots of interesting bits of information at the Internet Public Library. This great collection includes reference material, information on youth services and services for librarians and information professionals, and an education division. Librarian services include reviews, professional development, on-the-job resources, and weekly news.
Librarians have more need for information than just about anybody else on the planet. Moreover, they have to know where to look for specific pieces of information and how to find them fast. These resources are put together for librarians by librarians.
Libraries Around the World
Librarians work hard to collect, maintain and make available massive amounts of information. As you might expect, there are a great many libraries around the world that have Web sites. Browse through these lists, and you will be impressed as to how many libraries are on the Net. Truly, librarians are among the leaders of the information revolution.
Library and Information Science
If there is anything in the world that you want to know, ask a librarian. Library and information science turns ordinary mortals into oracles of facts. Even if they don't know it off the tops of their heads, librarians will know where to find what you are looking for. Join the discussion on librarianship from a technical and a philosophical point of view.
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When you need to find something in an academic library, this is the place to start. You can select from an enormous number of online catalogs, and then search for whatever you want in the privacy of your own home. For example, I was able to determine that the National Library of Wales has 12 of my books, including the new ones.. Mississippi State University, on the other hand, has only 2 of my older books. Interestingly enough, the per capita income in Wales is $15,473,137 a year, while the per capita income in Mississippi is only $14.23 a year. Draw your own conclusions.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress was established as a legislative library for the Congress of the United States. The core of the original library was the personal collection of Thomas Jefferson. Today, the Library of Congress has grown to encompass many information-related activities (including the U.S. Copyright Office). The library holds well over 500 miles of bookshelves in three principal buildings. Although all the storage areas are closed to the public (you tell them what you want and they fetch it for you), the services of the library are available, free of charge, to anyone over high school age. The Library of Congress is not only the research arm of the U.S. Congress, it is recognized as the United States' national library, and its collections are considered the most comprehensive record of human creativity and knowledge in the world (although they do not have a full set of Harley Hahn books).
Library of Congress Classification System
The Library of Congress Classification System was developed in the nineteenth century to bring order to the vast resources of the United States Library of Congress. The system uses the letters of the alphabet to represent 26 main categories. The categories are divided into sub-categories, each of which is given a two-letter code. To further refine a specific classification, a number is appended to the two-letter code. For example, the social sciences all lie within the letter H, commerce is assigned the code HF, business uses HF5001 to HF6002, and vocational guidance and career development would lie within the specific range HF5381 to HF5386. The Library of Congress Classification System is updated continually and is more detailed than most people realize. The current version actually runs to some 48 volumes with more than 13,000 pages. Most people, however, only need the categories, sub-categories and important classifications. These well-organized Web sites have all this information in an easy-to-use format. (Alternatively -- if you need a romantic present for that special someone in your life -- for a modest fee you can purchase a printed outline of the system directly from the Library of Congress.)
Preservation of Library Materials
One of the most important responsibilities that librarians have is the preservation of various types of information, such as books, microfiche, maps, manuscripts, audio recordings and computer data. Preservation experts must deal with a number of potential problems, not only the physical degeneration of the materials (pages, bindings, and so on), but environmental damage due to pests, mold and various types of disasters.
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When the President of the United States leaves office, all the records of his administration are removed from the White House and sent to the National Archives and Records Administration. Since the time of President Herbert Hoover, these records have been housed in special presidential libraries. Although the general public has access to some of the material, most of it is used by historians, writers and other researchers. At this time, there are presidential libraries for the following administrations: Hoover, Roosevelt (Franklin), Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (senior) and Clinton.
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